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The Pharaoh's Secret (NUMA Files 13) Clive Cussler 2022/7/22 13:55:21

“Which way did you go to get there?” the supervisor asked.

“I took the main hall to the east stairwell,” Kaz said. “What other way would I go?”

He’d never appeared on the screen.

“Get back to the stairwell,” the supervisor said. “Hurry.”

The supervisor began to drum his fingers. He was suddenly wide awake, his body pulsing with adrenaline.

“Okay, I’m in the stairwell,” the technician called out. “What’s wrong?”

“Third floor. I’m standing right here. Can’t you see me?”

The supervisor couldn’t see him. He knew instantly that something was very wrong, something beyond a mere malfunction.

“No, I can’t see you,” the supervisor said. “Is the camera damaged?”

“No,” Kaz said. “It seems to be in fine condition.”

The supervisor put it together. A camera on the hydro channel shorting out. The internal video feed incapacitated and frozen. They had a breach in security. They had an intruder.

He hit the silent alarm button, which would alert the guards, and switched the radio to all channels. “I need the entire building locked down and searched,” he said. “Every square inch. We have a possible intruder, or intruders, and we cannot rely on the cameras or automated systems. You’ll have to search and clear each section of the structure in person.”

Far from the security center of the hydroelectric plant, the intruders had found the two-seat ATV with the roll cage and surprised the black-clad guards sitting in it. They’d taken them out with ease and were dragging the subdued guards down a side tunnel when they discovered the lab.

An outer door made of glass with a rubber seal around its edge was unlocked. Kurt pushed through it. Joe and Renata were right behind him. The two workers in lab coats looked up in shock.

“Don’t move,” Joe said, a pistol in his hand.

The male scientist froze, but the female lunged for an alarm or intercom button. Renata tackled her and knocked her cold.

“Amazing how often people move right after you tell them not to,” Joe said.

Kurt turned to Renata. “Remind me to keep you close next time I’m in a bar fight.”

Across from them, the man kept his hands up, practicing a policy of nonconfrontation.

“You’re a scientist, I assume,” Kurt said.

“Biologist,” the man said.

“American? Your name?”